Tag Archives: coffee

Kopi Luwak

There is a scene in The Bucket List where Jack Nicholson is making some of the most expensive coffee in the world in a complex machine. He explains to Morgan Freeman that the beans go through the digestive track of some animal. I thought it was all made up for the movie. Turns out it wasn’t.

On our recent trip to Indonesia, we went to a small farm in Bali. In there they made Kopi Luwak. This is known to be the most expensive coffee in the world, sometimes sold for $50 USD or more a cup. Thankfully, if you don’t factor in the cost of getting my butt to this place, the coffee ends up being no more than your regular cup of Starbucks Iced-Venti-Mochachino-Espresso-Latte-Double-Skim-Vanilla with whipped cream (hold the sugar).

This is what a Luwak, a.k.a. Asian palm civet looks like:

A caged Luwak is probably not a happy Luwak.

Turns out these things like to eat mature coffee beans. But they can’t digest the beans. So they poop it. The final product looks just like my poop after eating lots of corn:

Luwak shit is the shit.

Alone, these would make excellent biscotti replacements. But in Bali they take it further. The coffee beans are thoroughly washed – supposedly (and I certainly hope so) the beans are perfectly fine for consumption – but their chemistry is altered due to the animal’s digestive juices reacting with the beans. Then they are traditionally roasted, ground, and prepared as normal Turkish coffee. Yummy!

So how is it? Honestly, it’s very good. Yes, you can tell the difference. It is less bitter and less acidic than your usual coffee, yet it tastes very much like coffee. I wouldn’t pay $50 USD for a cup – maybe I’m just not rich enough. But I was able to afford about a pound at Balinese farm prices, I had an outstanding cup of coffee, and I get to blog about rat poop drink. All in all, undoubtedly a worthy investment.

Handsome tourist.
Handsome cup of Luwak coffee.
“Hmmm… doesn’t smell like poop.”

DeLonghi Alicia espresso maker

When I got back home last Thursday, I found this at the door:

A DeLonghi Alicia electric espresso maker!

As you can see, it looks like a regular old school stove-top espresso maker. But this one uses electricity instead of a stove, making it viable for office use! I first learned about it in Amanda’s blog so I added it to The MKX® Wish List on a whim (readers: it’s not too late to buy me a birthday present). Turns out a reader got it for me 🙂

It’s three main pieces. The left-most thing is what replaces the stove. The pitcher itself is clear which is cool because watching espresso brew is cool. So what.

Everything is standard. You add the coffee, you screw everything together. You push the button and wait. I’m just posting the photos because they look neat, not because they are all that informative.

The brewing process is short. The coffee comes out tasting great and the whole thing is easy to clean. It makes enough for maybe 3 cups of espresso. For the price I think it’s a worthy investment. If you buy one, maybe you can use the link below so that I get a tiny referral bonus?

Recommendation: If you work at an office and hate office coffee, buy this. It works really well and it only costs about 20 Starbucks espresso shots.

French press disaster

I am a big fan of Bodum’s French Press Coffee Mug, and so are cockroaches. It provides a fresh dose of morning caffeine with minimal effort, and I love minimal efforts, especially when it involves kitchen work or blog post writing.

The problem is that when you handle this thing the most, you do it before you have had your coffee. So today I put mine in a plastic supermarket bag, not noticing the lack of bottom in said bag. My mug slid accelerating at roughly 9.8 meters per second before coming to an abrupt stop when it hit the dreaded un-stainable carpet. A double-wall penetrating crack is not in the bottom corner. For now I can use my backup French Press Coffee Mug (yes, I have a backup) but I better get a new one. Bummer.

French press surprise

I’m a huge fan of Bodum‘s French Press coffee mug. In a few minutes you make a large cup of freshly pressed coffee with minimal work and minimal dishes. I actually own two, one for work, and one for  home.

So I highly recommend it to my coffee drinking colleagues. One of them, Eli Seidner, got one too. I forgot to mention to him that he should wash it after using it, especially if you are going to leave it at the office and then go home for the weekend.

Below, Eli’s mug:

french press mug
Eli's French press mug.

Read more to see the photo from a better angle.

Continue reading French press surprise

The Coffice is no more

In a bout of corporate arm-wrestling and a defeat to all coffee-loving humans, the Coffice must be vacated by the end of the week. It seems like people in places higher than me think that the space can be better used to accommodate an engineer as opposed to an electrical stove, a pot, and some coffee and sweets. It is a sad day.

Now I need to find somebody else’s office to cram all this junk in. I have just the guy in mind…

It’s gonna be one of those days

It’s not even 9:00 AM yet and I already spilled a big mug full of coffee all over my office and myself. Damage was mostly contained and all equipment was spared. The only thing that worries me is the smell that may be left behind. Will it stay or will it go?

This has brought me a first hand appreciation of why office carpet looks the way it does. You can’t stain it, you just make it even more colorful. Get a glimpse over this older post.

It can only go uphill from here.